EC to take on poll check picks

EC to take on poll check picks

The new Election Commission (EC) will take over the selection of 616 poll inspectors now that five new commissioners have received royal endorsement, said former EC chairman Supachai Somcharoen.

The appointment of Itthiporn Boonprakong, Santhat Siriananpaiboon, Thawatchai Therdpaothai, Chatchai Chanpraisri, and Pakorn Mahannop has been published in the Royal Gazette. Mr Itthiporn is also named the EC head.

Mr Supachai said the new commissioners will decide if they will endorse the 616 poll inspectors shortlisted by his team. Their names have been put up for public scrutiny before they are expected to be announced next month.

The poll inspector appointments are being made as a group of National Legislative Assembly (NLA) members is pushing to amend a related organic law to strip the EC of its power to set criteria for selecting the poll inspectors, who will replace provincial election chiefs in supervising polls.

The lawmakers reasoned the election commissioners should not be able to change the criteria at will. That would not happen if the criteria were written in the law for the EC to follow.

Asked about a petition by Pheu Thai legal adviser Ruangkrai Leekitwattana against the proposed legal amendment on appointing poll inspectors, he said the matter is being handled by the Office of EC.

In his petition, Mr Ruangkrai has accused a group of 36 lawmakers seeking the amendment of interfering in the affairs of the public agency. He wants the EC to forward his complaint to the Constitutional Court for a ruling.

Mr Supachai said the Office of EC will gather facts about the issue before sending the petition to the commissioners to take actions.

Mahannop Detwitak, an NLA member who is seeking the legal amendment, admitted yesterday there is a chance his group might withdraw their bid if the new EC can address concerns involving the poll inspectors.

He maintained his group has no intention to interfere in the EC's work and that the move is not an attempt to push back the road-map to election.

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